Saturday, December 20, 2014



There is something about me that some people know and most of my really close friends know about me.

I get asked a lot about my photography name "Sleeping Awake Photography". I named it after being a victim of a sleeping disorder called "Sleep Paralysis". Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon in which people, either when falling asleep or wakening, temporarily experience an inability to move. It is a transition state between wakefulness and rest characterized by complete muscle atonia (muscle weakness). It can occur at sleep onset or upon awakening, and it is often associated with terrifying visions, such as an intruder in the room, to which one is unable to react due to paralysis. It is believed a result of disrupted REM sleep, which is normally characterized by complete muscle atonia that prevents individuals from acting out their dreams. (taken from wiki. This describes it the best)

I've been a victim of it since childhood. It's really funny because my mother will tell me stories when I was a kid and telling her I could see ghosts or in other terms like dead people (I'm such a creep). I never mentioned anything to her about it because I was scared. My first experience that I can fully remember was when I was 13. We were visiting our family in Kentucky because my cousin was going in for surgery to get his ribs worked on (they were caved in and causing lung issues)... well me and my dad stayed behind and slept at my aunt's house. I remember laying next to my father and waking up but unable to move... I was staring at the wall and all I could hear was breathing... to find out my dad actually wasn't next to me freaked me out more. I never said anything until my sr year in high school... it was happening every single night. Not just every now and then but literally every night.

I finally admitted to my parents why I slept in their bed with them until I was 14... every time I slept in my room I'd have sleep paralysis. There have been few times where I could get up but my body was so heavy (not fully un-paralyzed) that I'd actually stumble into everything and sometimes even pass out on the floor. I'd wake up with bruises and cuts but never said anything to anyone about it. I'd just play it off like I was clumsy. There were times where I would hyperventilate during an episode and black out for lack of oxygen.

I think the one thing that stuck with me the most was the little girl I would see when I would be in that state of sleeping awakeness... her name is Elizabeth. One of my friends from school swears up and down that she talked to Elizabeth one day on the phone while I was on the phone with her. It makes me laugh but kind of freaks me out as well because it's not just a girl from my sleep paralysis... she was actually an imaginary friend I'd play with as a child as well. She was one of those nice yet mean spirits... I've had strange things happen in my room, even while awake, but at night when I sleep I have terrible dreams. In fact, I don't even believe I dream anymore. I have nightmares or I guess "visions" that tell my deepest feelings. I've had my dreams make me realize a lot about myself... when I can remember a dream I always write it down and use it as inspiration for my images. I also research my dreams... try to understand them. If I'm eating toothpicks and pulling them out of my stomach in my dreams, I'd like to know why.

Very few people know this about me. I tell people why my photo name is what it is... but I haven't told them the deeper details like I am now... I guess a part of me wants everyone to understand my work completely. I had a photographer a couple months ago tell me that I was a liar and stealing images... that I didn't get inspiration from my dreams. Little does she know... I have medical records showing my condition. After I told my mother about what was going on she immediately set me up an appointment with a neurologist. I was tested for 3 nights. I was video taped, monitored 24/7 and even had an iv in my hand which eventually itched like crazy... Here is an image of it. You can see the wires and everything hooked up along with the iv in my hand. On a side note... that adhesive crap they used pulled out a lot of my hair and stayed on my scalp for a week...

After it was over with I got my results and they told me I experienced it even though I didn't remember it that time. They also linked insomnia, night terrors, and seizures to me as well. Since my mother is an epileptic she freaked out and blamed herself for the genes she gave me. It made me laugh actually.. I told her I loved my sleep paralysis. It's scary... but if you let it ride and take control... I've experienced the best things of my life during those few minutes of sleeping awakeness... I was able to, what seemed like, leave my own body and watch myself from above. I saw myself sleeping or staring back at myself. I was able to control my dreams as well.
I sounds super crazy but unless you've been there, you won't understand and I know it's a hard thing to understand if you've never experienced this. It has effected me my whole life. I don't sleep at normal times like other people, I tend to take long naps during the day, even with a good nights rest I will wake up super tired and drowsy all day. I've actually had a lot of complications at my jobs when they would schedule me early in the mornings. When I was on medication for this (which I refused to take it and almost lost my license because of it but when I got the change I RAN from that doctor) I've been fired before from a job because of it. They tested a bunch of different ones out on me and they all had terrible effects. One made me sleep all day.. I wouldn't wake up, I didn't eat, nothing... I lost 10 pounds in one week because of it.. then they put me on other one that made me a zombie. It made me crazy and that's when I lost my job. I never told my boss about my condition so it's not really their fault.. even though they called me stupid basically... (I got sick from the meds and called out work but no one answered so they fired me because they said I was a no call no show)

EDIT:::: I wrote this blog in April 15, 2014. I've had this image idea for a really long time now and FINALLY was able to complete it! <3 It was really fun to do this image. I was hanging upside down for a while and just in general the whole set up was fun and a learning experience. I may revisit this image and recreate it later down the road.

Sunday, December 7, 2014


I've had this image in my head for a while now. I got the inspiration from a very beautiful Japanese art called "Kintsugi" which literally means gold repair or to repair with gold. I've always loved pottery or dishes that were treated this way and I never knew there was a name for it and that it was an art form until a few years ago.

One theory is kintsugi may have originated when Japanese shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa sent a damaged Chinese tea bowl back to China for repairs in the late 15th century.When it was returned, repaired with ugly metal staples, it may have prompted Japanese craftsmen to look for a more aesthetic means of repair. Kintsugi can relate to the Japanese philosophy of "no mind" which encompasses the concepts of non-attachment, acceptance of change and fate as aspects of human life.

Just from this art alone I got inspiration to tell a story about how people may get broken in a situation but once you pull through you're more beautiful than before. Human life isn't a waste and there are so many things you can become if you just embrace your flaws and past and move on. Don't be ashamed of who you are or where you came from because, even if it is and was hard, look at the person you are today. Look at the things you've accomplished or have overcome in life - life is hard. When you think that you're broken and useless, that's when you need to pick your pieces up and mend them back together into something more beautiful than before. Highlighting your flaws with pride instead of being upset that you're not in a perfect state anymore. Once we are born we instantly begin to wear down and fall apart. Life is the journey of finding ourselves and making sure that we keep ourselves together because you never know who is out there that will look at you as inspiration and want to continue living because of YOU.

I've met some of the most beautiful people in the world and they've all came from nothing or have fought to be who they are today. They're giving, caring, charitable, and just over all kind. Kindness isn't weakness at all. In fact, it takes a lot of strength for a person to control their mind and being and give back a kind attitude. It's so easy for us to get angry or lash out but it's hard for us to turn the other cheek or understand another person's situation. I strongly believe in what you put out into the universe will be given to you 10 fold.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Why I Do Self Portraits

When I first started out in photography I only took photos of models. I had it set in my head that I wasn't pretty enough or I hated the way I looked in photos... blah blah blah. I was really hard on myself and while I tried to do some nicer images of myself here and there, I honestly still disliked them.

One of my best friends always says that moving from my hometown was the best thing to ever happen to me and looking back on everything... he's right. I got away from a lot of the stupid drama that happened there. 99% of the time it didn't even really involve me but people would pull me in because... well, that was the circle of friends. I'd try to get out of that circle and find a friend and then find out that they're friend's with all the people I tried to run from. I still get that where I live now, just not to the degree that it was.

Anyways, with moving, it came that I didn't know anyone around me. I desperately wanted to continue my photography and art but I had no one to help anymore. The few models I did meet ended up not showing or canceling for whatever reason. I got really sick in October last year and forced myself to get out of bed and photograph an image instead of laying in bed all day. It's probably one of my favorite images I've shot. Image to the left is the referred one titled "Breathe No More" from one of my favorite songs.

I learned a lot creating this image. I learned that not everything has to be sharply still. I learned that I can be my own model and not hate myself. I learned that I can create anything if I put my mind to it. Ever since this photograph, I've been doing several self portraits. It's not that I like looking at myself in photos, but it's I like making my dreams and ideas come to life. I love seeing myself in these other worlds I create. I love being 100% apart of my art. I still use models for things that I can't do by myself or use models because it's easier when there isn't much time to shoot (like trying to shoot right before sun set, etc.) Who knows my schedule and can be reliable? I can. I know my own schedule more than anyone else and I can also be there. I don't have to wait for a late model and I can push myself as far as I want my image to go. With some models they can't do certain things or in some cases they just won't do certain things.

I've found myself doing some crazy things for photos that only a few other people I know would do for me. I've been inside creepy abandoned buildings, stood on glass or other materials barefoot, photographed myself in the ocean in December, put my bare skin against snow, climbed a mountain for photos, etc. I don't regret anything at all either. I'm a super adventurous person and I love ever minute of it! Doing self portraits has been the best thing I've done in my entire life.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Offended by Nudity

It has been about a year since I've shot anything nude or semi-nude and I forgot just how annoyingly sensitive people are about something so natural.

Everyone has their own opinions, but what really irks me is how people can't distinguish different types of nudity. In most of society's eyes nude is wrong no matter how you look at it. There is the wonderful and beautiful art side of nudity that is completely void of sexual content, and then there is basic porn. The way I see it is if people aren't touching sensitive areas, then it's "safe". If they're obviously doing proactive things to themselves or another person(s) and or posing provocatively... then that's where it gets distasteful and uninteresting to me.

I'm amazed by just how narrow minded the majority of people can be. I'm constantly amazed by how people are trapped in their own minds and bodies and never truly feel free. Not saying you need to be nude, look at nudes, or photograph nudes. What I'm saying is how people get offended by nudes but they are perfectly fine with Victoria Secret ads. You see butt cheeks and cleavage in their photos and they even have live shows. But once someone photographs an image that doesn't even show private parts... the whole world ends and it's deems as mature content.

I'm going to use my most recent image as an example. While yes the image has a nude figure in it, it is in no way sexual. While the female is touching the male, it's not in a provocative nature. Also, this image doesn't show an graphic content in my eyes. Back to the VS statement, I consider thongs more revealing than this photo. I purposely set up the figures to where you could not see anything. No privates, no under butt cheek, no boobs, yes you see a man nipple... but people don't get offended by those anyways.
"The Ones That Hold Us"

What I'm mainly getting at is that sexuality is based on how people perceive things. This goes to artistic nudes of children. While I find cute baby butt-cheeks and squishy faces adorable, there are some sick people out there that will overly sexual the image and that is all based on how their mind works. I personally think nudity can be a very beautiful thing, artistically speaking. 

Keep Updated!!!! :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Moving Forward

     I recently went through a lot of reflection on my past. There were parts of it that I missed extremely and other parts that I was more than happy to be missing in my life. I've made mistakes and I grew from them. I also helped other people to grow and flourish and become something in their life. I have a real love-hate relationship with my past. While (as mentioned in too many of my blogs) I was bullied a lot growing up and even still to this day I get it, I became strong from those situations. I don't take what other people say so personally anymore. There are a lot of terrible things people will say and do in order to bring you down and the one thing I'm most proud of is being able to finally not let it get to me. I've made a lot of friends in my past and I made some enemies as well (mostly girls overreacting about dumb things). Something we should all remember is that the past is in the past and everything happens for a reason.

     I recently hung out with a very old friend of mine, I'm talking about someone I've know my whole life. Hanging out with this person, after so many years, was nice... or so I thought. We went to the mall and hung out for a while and talked - that's it. We talked about old friends, and funny things that happened when we went to school together. We talked about our future and how it could of been different because of one thing or another. It was kind of an eye opener. For myself, I've done so many things and I've honestly moved so far away and past my childhood that revisiting it was a mistake. After we said our good-bye's, some not so fun things happened that I won't go into extreme detail, but let me just say that it reminded me of the whole reason why I left my past behind.

     I was never a problem child. I kept to myself and learned art, piano, singing, etc. I was really active. Eventually I mixed myself with crappy people. I didn't turn crappy like they were but I was in the middle of everyone's drama. As much as I tried to get away from it, another "friend" would come into my life and they would know those same people and it was just a vicious cycle. I thought it would never end. My life was in constant turmoil because of the people I surrounded myself with. Honestly, I have no clue as to why they were even in my life. When I look back on it, we really didn't have much in common and in the end the friendships went nowhere real quick. These people destroyed friendships with some people I actually cared a lot about. As much as I tried to explain situations and let these people know that I had nothing to do with certain situations, it was too late and I'll never get the good friendships back. I was pretty upset about it all but now I feel like those relationships that were tainted wouldn't of been good to keep anyways.

     As I thought on this more and more I wanted to create an image that reflected how I'm feeling and what I'm going through in this personal time in my life. I wanted the image to show myself moving forward from my past. I wanted it to reflect how it's hard to move on but you can do it once you lift your head high and look towards your future. I have a very bright future and I want to keep being inspired and live a full life. That's what this image means to me. A part of me is holding onto my past because of the good memories, but more than all of me knows I need to move on. Leaving the bad relationships and friendships behind. Leaving the stupid mistakes behind and moving forward to the future I've always wanted for myself. Just like my past, I have a love-hate relationship with this image. There are so many things I love about it but there are so many things I hate about it as well.

"Moving Forward"
Keep Updated!!! :) 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Open Book

     I had huge goals for myself this year and I've managed to accomplish all of them (for the most part) but one... the final thing I wanted to do was to either start or just completely do a book of my work! It's not even about selling and making money off of it. It's about documenting my work and having everything I worked hard for in my hands for that year. It's also about sharing my stories with other people on a deeper level.

     I think I may extend it out a bit and do a book next year, but as of right now... I'm in the works and process of making a book that contains so much more than what you guys read in my blogs and see on my facebook and other networks. There will be extreme details about my work as far as the concept and post processing goes. I want this to be great! I want to share with everyone my dreams!

     I can't wait to add so much more work and to make this dream a reality. I constantly thank everyone for the support they've shown me over the years. The people that have hung in there for me to develop and refine my work will always be the people that I thank over and over again. It shows that you love me as an artist and not for one specific image, but all my mistakes and successes in life! <3

"Dear Diary" 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Define Yourself

      This is a topic that I've struggled with for a really long time now. When I was a kid I constantly had people put me down or make fun of me for the home I lived in. It got me to the point of asking myself "Why was I put in this situation?" It turned me almost ungrateful for all the things my parents have done for me. I hated my home and wished I lived somewhere else... bigger, with a pool and trampoline, even two story if possible!

     That didn't last long though, I soon began to get angry at people for how they treated me or anyone else just because of the place they lived. Once I thought about it, I loved my home. I loved my parents and dogs... I even loved the fact that I didn't have all these things to keep me entertained. Why? Because I grew creatively. My brain was stimulated a lot deeper than the average kid now of days with their Ipads. I'd actually go outside and play. Create my own games and stories - I learned to draw, sing, even play piano.

     After realizing everything my parents have done for me and their worth to me, I started to feel sorry for the back asswards thinking of others. It wasn't just children either. I dated a guy that I absolutely cared the world for only to find out his grandmother hated me. I didn't find out until many years later that she hated me because she thought I was trash because of where and what I lived in. I'm not trash at all. I don't act like it and I hold myself to a high standard and live my life better than most wealthy people

     To be clear, I didn't live in a trailer park, but I did live in a double wide home my whole life. It was never trashy either. My parents kept great care of it. We even painted, removed the carpet and replaced it with beautiful hardwood, and removed the linoleum and put in very nice stone flooring. We painted put in new ceiling fans, sinks, and recently a new framed front porch. I now live in my own apartment and will soon be looking at houses within the next year.

     It doesn't matter where you live, but who you are in the inside. If you're a hateful person that judges other people based on their money and house, then you're a horrible person deep to the core. I actually knew someone that lived in a really nice house and had the world until something happened and they had to get an old smaller house. I was told stories about how they were all embarrassed of it and how they don't like inviting other people over because of how they didn't want other people to talk negatively about them.

     That's such a sad thing for people to experience. Feeling like everything they worked for is embarrassing. It absolutely makes my heart hurt. Never be embarrassed by your housing situation. You could live in a crappy place, yet keep it beautiful and clean. Not everyone will have the chance to live in a huge house with nice cars and all of the fancy things that people with money shove in our faces. Not saying having money should make you feel bad for people that don't, but what I'm getting at is the judging of a person based on money needs to stop.

     As a photographer, people expect me to have my own studio with thousands of dollars worth of equipment. I've had people tell me they thought I had a studio, and even had some photographers say "WOW" based on my images and the old camera I used to use because they never expected the quality from the camera I had (Sony Alpha 300 and ONLY the kit lens). The more expensive something is doesn't always mean it's better. Truth is, I don't own a studio. I actually do not think I'd ever really want to unless my career drastically changed. For all my images I basically just use my camera and the kit lens. Generally only available lighting. I never really use my extra lights for anything. Here is a list of all my gear...
  • Canon EOS 7D
  • Canon 28-135mm EF f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
  • Canon 50mm EF 1.8
  • Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6
  • One Yongnuo 560-II Speedlite
  • 5-in-1 Reflector
  • Cheap $12 tripod
  • Light stand and attachment for my speedlite along with a 22 in. softbox.
  • Wireless Yonguo Transmitter and Receiver for the speedlite.
  • Wireless Remote by Vello
     This is all of the equipment I own. I can literally carry everything with me in two hands. I used to let other photographers hurt me by saying I'll never get anywhere because of my lack of equipment and that's not true at all. I've learned to be light with my gear so I can carry it to places more discretely and easily, I've learned alternative ways to photograph, and I learned how to compensate for the lack of gear. 

     Don't let money define you. Don't let what other people say define you. Define yourself. Be better than the people that put you down for working hard to have the things you do have. Stick up for the people that struggle with these same feelings. Just because you don't have something, doesn't mean you're worthless. I've seen amazing things from amazing people and they had nothing in the beginning. 

Friday, August 15, 2014


Okay, so the title isn't misleading but it leads up to what I'm wanting to talk about. Words hurt. What you say to someone could seriously damage that person. Not everyone is strong enough to brush off ignorant comments and not let it get to them.

Tonight, without going into a lot of detail, a guy that I work with busted out laughing and was making fun of me for having smaller breasts. I wear a 36B cup, I'm not ashamed. They're not as full as some other B cup tatas, but non-the-less they're there. Usually I don't let this get to me. I laugh it off or make silly jokes also and then think nothing else about it.

The amount and overly dramatizing loudness of the laughing and then running around the work place a bit kind of got to me. He made it out to be the BIGGEST deal that I didn't have tits that popped out of my shirt. Like I said, I have always ignored these ignorant actions/comments about my smaller yet firm bra stuffers. I'm not really sure why tonight was any different.. maybe it was the other remarks stated after it (which I won't say) or maybe it was the fact that he got another person I work with to laugh and say terrible things about my niblets as well. Either way, it hurt... a lot.

I have never made fun of another person because of appearances or even things as sensitive as mound size. Not many women like hearing anyone say they have a big butt, but big jugs is a huge deal.. why? It's kind of what defines a woman as a woman to a certain extent... it's just a feminine quality to have a nice pair of fun bags. Just like men don't like hearing women saying they have a small package or no nuts, women don't like hearing they have no cha-chas either.

Women with bigger bonkers typically envy smaller knockers and visa versa. There are perks to each but for the sake of me talking about these wonderful tiny men silencers, I'd like to list some things that make having smaller chichis a good thing.
Move comfortably- I can cross my arms, raise my hands, do whatever I want without having a side boulder rubbing against my arm constantly.
Clothes fit more comfortably- Sometimes they may not fill out certain dresses better than larger hoohas, but at least there is a wider range of dresses, and shirts to choose from. I don't have to worry about having to buy a shirt 3 times larger just to fit and then have it baggy in the arms or waist.
I can breathe and I don't have back problems- The most common thing I hear from women with big hooters is that it gives them back problems and it's hard to sleep on their backs OR stomachs at night. For me... I can sleep on my back, stomach, both sides, upside-down if I wanted too... and don't have to worry about being uncomfortable or suffocating throughout the night.

There are definitely more perks but these are just the obvious main things. In the end I love myself enough to love the seemingly negative things about me. I have a bigger butt, I have smaller melons, I'm not as pretty as other girls, etc. I've learned over the years to love myself and to not let what others say get to me because in the end they're worthless. This guy that said these things and laughed at me is a terrible person inside and out (other reasons I won't mention). Also, I looked a realized that this person means nothing to me. I don't talk to him, hang out with him... nothing at all. He is worthless to me and if he disappears I probably wouldn't be upset. That's what you have to keep in you head. The people that are truly there for you would never do hurtful things and those are the people you need to keep in your life.

Anything said here wasn't meant to be anything negative against bigger coconuts. I think they can be quiet nice myself, I just want people to stop being huge jerks about size. Everyone has different preferences so saying one kind of anything is "pretty" isn't fair at all. I guess this is just something that us as humans continue to fight everyday...

Monday, August 4, 2014


No one really knows who the first person was to start the whole surreal photography genre. (Well, I don't know at least) The one thing I do know is that Brooke Shaden wasn't the first person to do it. This isn't a blog bashing her. I love her soul, her work, her words of encouragement, and so so much more. This is a blog about how, while I'm flattered and I'm sure others are as well when their work is compared to Brooke's or even thought as Brooke's, it's not Brooke's work - it's mine.

I get a lot that I'm copying Brooke, or Shelby, or whoever else does similar type portraits. Let me stop you there and tell you-NO. I've been doing photomanipulation since I was 13. Granted they weren't as advanced as my pieces now, but I was still doing it before these people became popular and before I knew who they were. No, I'm not the first person to do these types of works. Actually I was inspired by other people's works I saw as a kid. Mainly paintings and from films, but I still did my own work aside from that. I have a Myspace that has an old album from when I was a kid just full of composite works I did.

People being ignorant towards me because they don't know me is pretty annoying and if anything makes me laugh because it truly shows how a person doesn't know me at all. I had a blog a while back that told everyone how I got into photography and even the surreal part of it. I'll paraphrase it for you... I was 13, had no models but myself, had photoshop 7, and a webcam/point and shoot. These were my tools. I was too shy to use models and lacked resources and knowledge to have my images hung anywhere or even advance. It took me a long time to obtain the knowledge I have. I taught myself. So much trial and error happened... and in the end all of my hard work is being taken away from me by people that don't know what they're talking about. I have countless hours of watching videos, speed-art, learning in photoshop myself, learning different techniques myself and from others, etc.

Simply put, know someone before you speak. Someone that is popular now isn't always the first person to do something, they're generally just the first person to make it known. I'm not angry that people compare me. I'm really flattered and it makes me joyous even, but everything isn't just what you see. Take a little time to do some real research before you point fingers.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Details

     I get asked this a lot with my images and I always forget to tell people how or why. Last night my boyfriend hovered over me while I was doing some editing to an image and he says, "That was A LOT of attention to detail, how did you even see that?"

     As a kid I loved to draw. I drew all the time everywhere and mostly in class at school. They obviously forbade it so I would have to kind of sneak drawing. I'd get really close to my paper and draw miniature figures. I did that all the time even after I got caught. Also, I drew so close to the paper because I didn't want others to see. I was scared to show my thoughts and talent. I often had kids take my drawings a rip them up, scribble over them, or yell at me and tell me that I didn't draw that and that I was lying even going as far as forcing me to draw in front of them - which made me super nervous so you can imagine how that one went.

     Doing this has ruined my eyesight. I used to have 20/10 eyesight and over the years with hiding my talents and keeping it a secret I now have pretty poor eyesight. I can only see very close up. My computer screen is a bit fuzzy and it's only a few feet away from me. I had glasses for a bit but hardly wore them because they were just too inconvenient. My parents ended up letting me get contacts my freshman year in high school because I played volleyball and well... you kind of need to see long distance and glasses are highly not recommended.

     Anyways, when I first put in my contacts I cried. For the first time in many many years I had my vision back. I was able to play volleyball better, sit in the back of the classrooms instead of the front so I could see the board, drive at night, even draw better and bigger! I was so excited and I love them with every part of me.

     Though I lost a lot of my eyesight it did give me the talent of being able to see details, being up close with my images and really getting into the tiniest of parts. With my contacts I can practically see everything now. My eyes are like a 4k t.v. It used to give me headaches when I first got my contacts because before then I wasn't used to all of the detail. I'm definitely okay now and I can see even more detail in objects. I could sit around all day and mope about not having great eyes anymore, but I turned it into a positive and believe that in some way it helped me grow as an artist and helped my brain to process information in a different way.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Humility, Thankfulness, and Drifting Apart

     Humility is lacking these days and I mean TRUE humility. There is really being humble and then there is pretending to be humble just so people will see you as... being humble. I'm all for people being confident, don't get that twisted, but you have to find a balance of confidence and humility. I believe every person deserves to boast about certain things. Maybe you achieved something you're super proud about and want to tell the world! Excitement is a very wonderful thing to experience! It's those people that doesn't say look what I did (once) but constantly pushes it up in people's faces that need to be brought back down to earth. Be excited, yes, but at some point you're going to have to move on. Just have a happy heart. I see too much jealousy happening because of other's success and it makes me sad. There are plenty of things in this world to be great at and more than one person can even be great a the same thing! It's not the end of the world.

     Everyday I have to be thankful for the things I do have and the things I don't have. Everyone else should too, because there is much much worse than the issues you deal with daily. When I visited Orlando last weekend I saw a lot of homeless people. I mean, A LOT. I see them where I live as well but not to this abundance. For those 3 days we saw the same people in the same spot all day-every day. It really made me sad. While I know some people are comfortable with being like that, I know there are other's that struggle daily. I really had to sit down for a few minutes and just be thankful for everything in life I have... the big and the small.

     Another thing, people move on and even from each other. It's a sad part of life. Not all friends will always be close friends and not all relationships will work out either. It's called drifting apart and it happens all the time. Family does it too. I have friends I grew up with that I still talk to but we don't hang out everyday (hardly ever) and we don't really talk much either. We grew up and went on our own paths because we all have our own lives, dreams, families, expectations, successes, etc. Don't get stuck in the past and just try to move on because this world is ever changing and we need to keep up with the change in order to be free and happy.

     I just want to continue being a happy and inspired person. I'm very thankful that I am now in a point in my life that I have little to no drama. Face-it, we all have those people that will try and make your life difficult and they only will if you allow them. Get away from those people. Remove them on facebook, out of your phone, e-mails, etc. I've even went as far as blocking certain people's friends and families in order to expel them out of my life as much as possible. Letting go is an amazing and beautiful strength that only takes practice. So go out there and achieve your dreams leaving all drama behind you, old relationships that are holding you back, and shoot for success. Remember to always be thankful and humble because you have one life, so live it to it's fullest!

Monday, July 14, 2014


I have a deep and strong connection with this song. When creating this image, I wanted to keep true to the lyrics of the song. "In My field of paper flowers, Candy clouds of lullaby, I lie inside myself for hours, and watch my purple sky fly over me," I sing this song very very often. If you've read any of my blogs from when I first started blogging, then you'll know that I was bullied for a majority of my childhood. I was about 11 when the song first came out, I already loved her song "Bring Me To Life", I used to listen to it all the time.

Even at a young age I understood the lyrics well. Maybe because I could see people for who they really were and what the world is without even having to explore much of it. I didn't just understand and feel the song, but I lived the song. I've always been a dreamer. My body was always in auto pilot mode while my mind was in my own world--I still do this. I hated school, which is funny because I loved it at the same time, but I found myself not being able to fully flourish there. While I have nothing wrong with religion, to each his own, the religious school I went to focused too much on the religion itself and not enough on developing a child's talents and their minds. I still have no clue where all the money my parents spent went. It definitely wasn't for an art program.

There is bullying everywhere you go, I experienced it from a wide variety of people, both learned and ignorant. What helped me in life to cope with these daily pains of having to deal with people has always been my imagination. I'd spend hours outside exploring our wooden back area, playing imaginary games that I was some warrior princess that saved the entire village from danger! I would draw, sing and play piano to keep myself entertained. Now of days people stay on the computer, their cell phones, and their other various hand held devices. Don't get me wrong, I played my share in gameboy, playstation, etc. I was a pretty hardcore console and pc gamer, but aside from that I took time to fall into my own imagination.

I was told once to let my mind go blank and your "safe zone" or quiet place would appear. For me it was an open green field where you could see no end and the sky met the ground with one single tree. In my head I would go and sit by that tree and just let myself be free. We actually had a tree outside my parents house that I would sit by all the time and draw, some workers came by one day and cut the tree down due to it being close to the power lines. A tiny part of me died that day. I found other trees I would climb in and sit and think all the time, we had that nosy neighbor that would come out and yell at me and even threaten to call the cops on me because they thought I would fall out of it... though it was on our property, I soon found another better tree where she couldn't say anything. I still climbed the other one and eventually told her to screw off.

I would lie inside myself and thoughts for hours almost every hour I was awake. I still do this today and I get a lot of "air-headed" comments. Trust me, I'm not air-headed, I just don't want to listen to people's constant sex jokes, cruel humor, and mindless banter. I have a love-hate relationship with people. I have a very caring side that tries my hardest to please others and help them. Then I have my side that knows how unfaithful, cruel, and backstabbing people can be. When someone doesn't get their way they instantly change on you. They become distorted from the previous image they tried to show you.

Working in the food industry really made me dislike people even more. We get "nice" people all the time yet the second their food was wrong (even slightly) they go off and all of a sudden we're the most ignorant and incapable people on this planet. People just do things without thinking and that's what I think will continue to be the downfall of the human race. I do a lot of things on whim as well but there are also many many things that I don't do or say based on the outcome.

Anyways, I still cope with people and their rudeness by shrugging it off and going into my own little world which is where most of my images are born. A lot are from dreams, but I do get a lot of ideas while I'm at work in "auto pilot mode".

There is so-so much more that connects me to these song lyrics but this was just a tad bit into why I love it so much and why I relate to it. The rest of the stuff is kind of depressing and I'm not really in a depressing mood right now. I'm actually quiet inspired, excited, motivated, uplifted, thoughtful, etc. I just wanted to take a few minutes out of my time and share with everyone my thoughts.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Taking Flight

     There has been so many times where I've looked out to the distance and could see how bright my future could be if only I let go of negativity. I'm only human. I get jealous, upset, and over emotional about things all the time. As much as I try to throw those feelings on the back burner... it's hard to ignore them completely. I want to live my life to the fullest instead of letting negativity get me down. Face it, we're not meant to get along with everyone. It's not at all possible. In fact, it's down right exhausting to try and get along with everyone. Being a people pleaser is one of the most frustrating and annoying things a person can do to themselves.

     As selfish as this sounds, I've rid a lot of people out of my life that I found weren't doing anything for me. What I mean by that is... if they're not in my life to help me reach my goals or at least support my goals, then they're not worth being in my life at all. I don't need people pretending to be my friends or people using me. I don't need pity or company by someone that have no good intentions for me. I want to surround myself with people that will uplift me and help me succeed in life. No one can do it on their own. I learned that the hard way. I used to take pride in teaching myself things or doing something on my own. While I'm still mostly that way, I've also learned to let other in to help me and stop being so stubborn about things.

     That's what this image is all about for me. My feet are still on the ground because a part of me does not want to let go of old feelings, but my wings are spread wide because I'm ready to move on and be happy, to let go of negative people and influences, and to stop worrying so much about what other people are doing or saying. This image is very conflicting for me because I'm almost in a limbo state of mind. My wings are open, so shouldn't I be flying? What's really holding me back?

     Now I know... the only thing holding me back is myself.

"Taking Flight"
HQ Version 

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How I Stay Inspired

     I've talked about where I get inspiration but I also get a lot of questions on how I STAY inspired. I feel like inspiration comes with knowledge. When I didn't know how to do certain things or couldn't convey a story I got really discouraged. I didn't want to fail at something or show people bad work. One thing I've learned with shooting and growing in my work is to practice. I basically shoot an image every day. I never post every single one of them, but I do shoot quite often. There are a few images of mine that I've shot more than once because I didn't get what I wanted.

     For me, understanding how certain things worked really helped me to stay inspired because instead of thinking how did that work? I know how it works and I don't have any questions. Practicing your editing tools helps a lot too. Have you ever went to edit an image and knew what you wanted to do in your head but didn't know how to do it in your software? I have... and I practice and learned what works best for me. What tools are user friendly to me and what tools am I absolutely against? There are also those tools that I hate to use but tend to be very helpful at times. I found out over time that as much as I hate the pen tool, it's been very beneficial for me in many of my images.

     Here are a few things I suggest to do in order to keep inspired...

  • Day Dream - Let your mind wonder. Let yourself revert into a child like thought process and remember what it was like to color outside of the lines.
  • Take Something From Everything - Right now I'm looking at a game of Apples to Apples. What could I get from that? Well, apple is something easy to use. I can use this as a prop for an image. I often look at the sky. I could take colors from that particular sunset and use it in an image or mimic the pattern the clouds produce in the sky. 
  • Practice - Edit an image every day. If you know you're bad at something (masking, layering, textures, etc.) spend extra time on that weak area of your editing to help refine it.
  • Learn Perspective - This is a hard thing to understand sometimes but your images will greatly improve if you understand perspectives. Knowing how to do this will give you more confidence in your work and will keep the creative flow going in your mind.  
  • Practice Storytelling - If you're interested in creating stories, practice them. What are you trying to convey with your piece? Sit down and make a list of key points in your story and mash them together into a story. If you go back and read my "Lament" post, this tells you exactly how I thought out that image in order to tell the story it shows. 
There really is no right way to be or stay inspired. Your mind is the limit! :)

"A Love Denied"

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Can't Please Everyone

     I'm learning more and more each day that it is impossible to please each and every single person... I try my very best to make sure people are happy or go out of my way to do things for people and in the end it really doesn't matter. Someone told me years ago that I can't please everyone, to be a little selfish and if I only do things for other people that I will never be happy. Words could never be truer.

     Recently I started being more selfish about things. Not rude, but not so giving anymore. I have been more happy now than when I go out of my way for that 5 seconds of gratitude I get from people... I also work at a job where if I'm expecting to make everyone happy... well, I might as well die because that's exactly what will happen if I force myself to try and take on everything for everyone.

     I'm also realizing that I don't get anything in return for my hard work. I had 2 jobs and neither really wanted to work with each other's schedules and when I did give out my schedule... it would just get ignored. Then what happens? People get attitudes with me when I try to get my shifts covered or compromise. I try so hard to make everyone happy but that's done and over with. Who are these people to me anyways? Nothing, because I'm nothing to them either.

     I know I'm being quite pessimistic but it's the truth. I will always be a nice person at heart but I can only take so much before I just completely stop it all. Helping people does make me happy but I want to start helping people that actually need it. Someone that will take the kindness to heart and keep for the rest of their life. Helping people that can't help themselves.

     I've been in so many positions where I couldn't do things because of money, health, height, looks, gender, etc. Recently a hand full of people have found me worth it and have tried to help me every way they can. I won't list everything because I'm sure they don't want everyone to expect them to do the same things for every single person as well... but let's just say they've helped make my dreams come true!

     I want to do that for others as well but before I can do that I need to be selfish for a little while. I suggest everyone that is very kind to give themselves the chance to put their foot down and say no, I can't, or I won't. Stand up for yourself and face confrontation. Say I'm one person and I have limits. We're only human first.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Dream Big

     When I was a child I wanted to become many things; A dancer, singer, pianist, fine art drawer, professional cheerleader, gymnast, etc. I pretty much did all of those things but the one thing that always stuck with me was art. I still sing, play volleyball, piano, etc... but I NEVER took a break from art. I still do it every day in side of my head.

     One dream of mine that I never let go was to be featured in a gallery. For the longest time I had people tell me I wasn't good enough... I'd never get anywhere... I have nothing to show. Well, I do. I have my thoughts and my heart to show. I try to show it in every image as much as I possibly can.

     One thing that took me a while to learn is that I can't do everything by myself. I was so determined to show the people that hurt me that they were wrong and I didn't need anyone to become anything, and to a certain extent that is true, but in reality no one would be anywhere if it wasn't for people that are already a step ahead. That's how dreams happen - when someone gives you a break.

     Well, I finally got my break. I will be in my very first gallery and I can't explain the happiness I feel. My heart is overwhelmed with joy to the point that I find myself having almost a panic attack from the anxiousness of the opening day. This show is more than just a gallery show that I will be in. It's not a show with a bunch of random artists, it's a show with artists I have grown to call my friends. They've lifted me up when I felt down, they've stuck up for me when people tried to attack me (or even other people in the group), and we all have shared our darkest thoughts with each other. It feels like a small family and being able to meet them in person is so unreal and I'm very humbled by everything.

     What I'm getting at is if you love something and it's what you're truly passionate about, don't let others tell you that you can't do something. Nothing will be handed over to you so you will have to work hard for the goals you're wanting to achieve in life. It won't be easy but in the end it will be worth it and that is something no one can ever take away from you. I'm the type of person that learns the hard way because I can be stubborn. I get that one from BOTH of my parents, ha ha.

     Be yourself and everything will fall in it's place... unless you have a sucky personality and then I suggest you to change that and set yourself some positive goals for your life. Define yourself before someone else does it for you.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Fruits Basket

     Anime is one of my favorite things on this planet. I grew up watching it, reading mangas, and role playing/cosplaying. I watched this anime called "Fruits Basket" a long time ago and decided to watch the first season (sadly they never made another season but the mangas completed the story) over again because it keeps popping up in my Hulu suggestions. Anyways, now that I'm older... I can't understand and relate to it a lot more than when I was younger and didn't really grasp the concept. On the surface of the show, it's about a family curse, but beneath is an underlying message that I think everyone could take something from it. It's about acceptance. Where a person does and does not fit in. How treating others with compassion has a greater effect on a person than most realize. I related to this show in so many ways than one that I felt like I was a part of it... like I knew these people and they were my friends too. I know, I know. That sounds pretty silly and childish but I loved it either way.

     I could relate to every character in one way or another. Tohru, I related to her a lot actually. There are so many times where I go out of my way for other people. The things I say and do effect people and just last week I had someone thank me for sending them encouraging advise even though I didn't know them. Unlike her, I have more of a voice (more so now that I'm older.. I was pretty much exactly like her when I was her age in high school). Yuki and Kyo I'll talk about together because they're pretty similar. I saw myself the most in them. Picked on in school because I was different. Shunned, ostracized, hit on (literally), told I was nothing and would never amount to anything. It was really hard for me to let people in, even now it's hard for me to trust people. Like Tohru, I'm pretty gullible and for some reason always thinks everyone is telling me the truth.

     Shigure, Well... I'm not perverted so really the main quality I saw in him that I related to was his humor. He likes to joke around and mess with people in a light hearted way which is something I love doing. Laughing is probably my favorite emotion on this planet. Even over love. Speaking of love, Hatori. I've suffered from losing a loved one (not in death). The pain is always there though I'm always happy for that person. It's really bitter sweet but you can't change the past, all you can do is just move on and hope time heals a wounded heart. Kagura, I've loved someone and accepted them with my entire heart to have them not love me back as well. Though, this wasn't a huge issue in the show and she never seemed upset over it... but it's still something I relate to.

     Momiji, I'm pretty good about staying happy and hiding my feelings and thoughts from others for the most part. I'm also silly like he is. Kasuma, I've had someone look up to me before. Someone that wanted to be just like me... someone that I influenced heavily. Ritsu.... lol okay maybe I can't relate to ALL of the characters but someone I could DEFINITELY relate to was Kisa. As a kid (and even now still) I was called ugly and made fun of for how I looked, dressed, or talked. I even, like her, completely stopped talking for 3 months. I didn't accept calls, I didn't talk at school... not even to the teachers. Everything I said was made fun of by other kids, so, I stopped talking. It took me a while to start speaking up and I really didn't even do that until after high school. Hiro, he was born in the year of the sheep, same as me. There have been plenty of times where I've been jealous over someone spending more time with a person I cared about instead of me. I have a funny way of showing it just like him.. I can be pretty mean about things and just assume the person understands what I'm feeling. Last but not least... Akito. I was born with a heavy weight on my shoulders and I too know what it's like to feel absolutely helpless and full of anger because of it. I've been so upset that I forgot the simple wonderful things in life. I hated myself and everyone else that lived. I'm not like that anymore though I can still be quite cynical at times.

     At the end of it all... what really mattered was that ONE person showing that they cared. I know so many times where I've told someone, even if I didn't know them, that I was there for them. I also know so many times where people told me the same things and it really saved me. We all have power and using that power can make or break a person. You never know if what you say or do to someone will keep them going or make them end it all. Lucky for me, I was pretty stubborn and embraced the bullying. I wanted to show everyone that treated me poorly that I AM something. I'm not going to be nothing... a nobody. Some people don't have that drive though... some people are willing to just throw their life away because others tell them they should. It's really hard to see the light in a tunnel that is 100 miles long but that's what makes compassion such a healing power. I am proud to say that I am a riceball... a cat. Different <3

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Itch

     Hello, My name is Samantha and I'm a creativeholic. Everyone has their vices and mine just so happens to be non harming and very therapeutic for me. Wait, I take that back... some of the stuff I do isn't very safe. I go to abandoned areas, now with a chaperon, and I've fallen through floors of old houses, slipped on mystery goo, stepped in glass, etc. But to me... at the end of the day... it's worth it for that one image I had in my head for so long. 

    For me when I get an idea for an image, it's there until I complete that image. I'll obsess over what I'm wanting to do hours. Photography really saved me. Whenever I had no direction... creating with images is what helped me stay straight. This image is the literal definition of an itch I can't scratch. I constantly have ideas running through my head and no matter what I do... nothing satisfies this addiction until I completed the image I've been thinking of for hours, days, sometimes years... Until I finish my idea... it makes my brain "itch" so to speak.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


     I'm in a couple of different photography groups and in one of them we have monthly challenges. This month's challenge was "Birth". I decided to take a different approach to this and thought that I would share what went through my mind while creating this.

    I had this image in my head for a while and this challenge pushed me a bit to go out and do it. Plus, I finally had a day off and it was really nice and warm out for "winter". I decided to interpret this challenge by changing the word from "Birth" to it's opposite... "Miscarriage". Now, I've never been pregnant but I do know people that have miscarried and it's not something I wish on anyone or would ever want to experience.

     Instead of doing this in a sterile background I made it in nature. It symbolizes the life all around the baby which would be the mother (mother nature). There are 3 bodies on the ground to signify the 3 trimesters in a pregnancy. The first in the background is in the fetal position symbolizing the fetus. The second in the middle-ground symbolizes the actual birth(miscarriage), while the final body is in the upright position of being carried away to the morgue. I chose a red dress because red is very symbolic for life and death which I've used before in my work. The bodies are covered in a white sheet to symbolize that they're seeds that never made it into the egg.

     As far as the title goes, I went through a lot of thinking with this one. I even had other people try to help me re-title my image because I didn't like "Death by Birth" and straight up "Miscarriage", so I went with the emotion of losing a child which would be mourning. More poetically for me would be "Lament."

Monday, January 6, 2014

Work In Progress

     There are things we all struggle with daily. For me, it's trying to keep a positive attitude. I look back constantly and ask myself why I sometimes if not most of times have a bad attitude about something. I look back on how people have treated me and it has turned me sour. I have a lot of hatred in my heart. I hate liars, why? I've been lied to most of my life by almost every person I've ever let in. It's hard for me to let any little fib slide by. The smallest "white lie" is huge to me. It hurts my feelings when people don't think that I am strong enough to hear the truth. Well, I am. I'm a strong person. All the lies I've ever told have always hurt people more than the actual truth did. Now, I always tell the truth even if it's blunt and hurts. A lot of the times that gets me into "trouble" but I don't like to be lied to and most people don't either. I'm not a person that is all for the saying "Ignorance is bliss." You have to get your head out of the clouds and back to reality or you'll never accomplish anything. Funny I'm saying that because with my photography... my head is in the clouds 99% of the time.

     I hate thieves. This goes for a whole range of tangible objects to actual thoughts. My whole life I've been stolen from. I've had my toys, my room, my love, and even my joy stolen from me... several times. I've never had stuff that I could call my own and mean it permanently. Toys is self explained. My room, I've had family members move in to start a new fresh life and then just take advantage of the situation and go back to old crappy habits. My love, I've dated guys and even had friends that have used me and tossed me to the side when something better came along. My joy, this is one that hurts the most. I strive to be the very best at certain things in life to have people come along and try to out do me (one up if you will) and it's all so frustrating when I try to create a place of my own to just have people walk all over me because they think they can or should. I've had people steal my ideas, dreams, and replace them with false hope and lies.

     The way people have treated me in my past has left me more than bitter, but it's something I struggle with everyday to push it out of my life so I can truly live. I don't want to be a bitter person... hateful... I want to be a happy person. I've always been happy... but I let stupid people and the past get in the way... I guess that's one huge reason why I love photography and music so much... it lets me get away and express myself and pour all my thoughts and emotions into simple things that make me happiest in life.

     All my desires are unattainable if I keep looking to the past instead of keeping my head towards the future. My goals this year and the years after is to keep my heart happy and to keep myself as positive as I can. I always want to improve to be the best me I can be.

"Unattainable Desire"